Sour Pussy on the Beach

I’m back from vacation and the settlers cabin is, once again, open for business. Last week we spent our annual post Labor Day vacation at Kona Village on the big island of Hawaii. While others were photographing their newlywed wife on the beach, or close-ups of the turtles sunning themselves, I was shooting type. At one point as I sat on a chaise lounge reading about my grandmother’s cousin Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd and FDR, other guests were wildly photographing the turtles. “Why?” I ask myself. What are you going to do with a bunch of photos of a turtle? Then I took time to photograph the hand-made Stop sign.

If you think you’re a super groovy designer who is first at making lots of funky hand drawn type on posters, get a clue. Kona Village’s signage program is decades old and has the grooviest type I’ve ever seen. And you’ve got to love a place that is truly sustainable by taking bits of wood and logs and making signs. It’s not like the Four Seasons next door, with the fancy pants typeset signs.

In addition to taking photos of signs, I read seven books, ate enormous amounts of ahi, and put my phone in the safe. One of the benefits of visiting at the same time each year is seeing the other guests who visit at the same time each year. This leads to an atmosphere not unlike a summer camp with the same friends each year. Of course, someone is always willing to not play along. For almost a decade we’ve seen the same people and become great friends. But there is one woman who refuses to smile or say hello. Even when I have pointedly looked straight at her and demanded a cheery “Hello,” I’ve only received a sour face and mutter of “hmm, hello.” I decided this was unacceptable rude behavior and someone suggested she had a “sour puss.” After that I only called her “Sour-Pussy,” until my friend Jill noted that it didn’t sound like I was talking about her sour facial expression.